Arkansas librarian discusses importance of diversity

Martha Parker is a digital services librarian at the University of Arkansas.
Martha Parker is a digital services librarian at the University of Arkansas. | Contributed photo

In the book, "Where are all the Librarians of Color? The Experiences of People of Color in Academia," University of Arkansas Martha Parker digital services librarian shares her insight and beliefs.

In a contributed essay, Parker explores how the partnerships between librarians of ethnic backgrounds can increase the satisfaction that they find in their jobs. Such a community can also help these individuals to feel supported in their work.

"Even by volunteering on the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) Diversity Committee, this group was able to establish a support network, becoming informal, yet valuable peer mentors for each other," Parker said.

Her essay, titled "Establishing a Communal Network for Professional Advancement among Librarians of Color," gives advice to the ACRL Diversity Committee. Her experience as the chair of the committee from 2014-15 gives her insight into needs and methods in and for such support systems.

"Leveraging existing networks and creating collaborative partnerships are essential to librarians of color who might find themselves as one of the few, if not only, professionals of color within their home libraries," Parker added.

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